Over 30 and still want to party?

Local DJ provides mature crowds alternative to Whistler's 20-something club scene

In the Whistler nightlife scene there's no shortage of clubs and venues crammed with 20-somethings, but are the 30-somethings feeling sidelined?

Local teacher and DJ Ira Pettle knows that reality all too well, and he is planning to change it.

Hosting a 'Dirty 30's, Naughty 40's, Nifty 50's and Sexy 60's' night at the GLC on Friday (Aug. 30), the 35-year-old is hoping to spark a movement that is geared towards the more mature audiences of Whistler.

"The idea for the event came from the feeling that I experienced when I first started to go out here in Whistler," Pettle said.

"I like to go out and have a good time and I'm 35, but I just found that I felt a little old. I still was having fun but I felt a little old and I was wanting to do what I was doing but while surrounded by a more mature group of people."

Originally from Thornhill, Ont., Pettle developed the DJ bug early on, as he started spinning vinyl for a private event-entertainment company in Toronto at 19 years of age.

With a penchant for playing that funky music, the music enthusiast loves the rush of seeing people respond to his song choices.

"(It's tied to) my passion for making a difference in the lives of people through the music," he said.

"When I work, my sets are very organic. I don't plan my sets. Over the last 16 years, I've built up such a musical library in my mind, of every genre from every era, that I can use it in the moment to look at the crowd, see how they are responding and build things that way. Through my work, I can help people to be happy and I love that."

With a fondness for every possible genre of music, the audience Friday will definitely experience an eclectic set of tunes.

"I need to have a pretty broad knowledge base, so I do find that there is no one genre that I love more than another," he said.

"But that being said, I grew up on classic rock 'n' roll, so I love those sounds. Personally, I love rock 'n' roll and that is going to have a heavy influence at the party just because of the nature of the event."

Letting the record collection go cold for a while, Pettle left his passion behind when he first moved to Whistler to become a teacher.

"DJ'ing has been in the blood for quite some time, but when I came out west, I left that behind," he said.

"I have a masters in education and I'm a teacher as well, so I do quite a few things. But I was here to teach and I let the disc jockey thing rest for a little bit, but over the course of the last four years, it has slowly begun to creep back into my world."

Working with a small DJ company in Vancouver for the past few years, Pettle has begun to spin wax at weddings along the Sea to Sky corridor in his free time.

After re-engaging his musical mind, and with an itch to put on his own event, Pettle began moving forward with the vision for a mature music night.

"I got the vibe that if I did put my nose to the grind, I could really create an opportunity and I thought I could be the one to make the difference here," Pettle added.

"The long-term vision is to create an opportunity for mature people in Whistler, tourists and locals, to really have a place and a space where they will enjoy life and party like they are 19 again, but while surrounded with people who are their own age."

The Adults Only Party takes place on Friday Aug. 30, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the GLC. Tickets are $10 before 10 p.m. and $15 after. For song requests, please send an email to irapettle@hotmail.com.

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